Our Panelists
Tastings Panelist - Robert Bansberg
Robert Bansberg
Beverage Testing Institute
Senior Panelist Emeritus - R.I.P.
For over 40 years, Robert was the ‘sommelier’s sommelier’ in the Chicago beverage and hospitality industry. His self-given title of "Chief Hospitality Officer" reflected his passion for connecting with his customers and showing them an amazing time. "Sharing my knowledge of wine with others is extremely gratifying". Robert received numerous recognitions and awards for his work and achievements in the industry, among them a James Bear Award nomination and Best Sommelier Award from Chicago magazine.

Robert served as a panelist with BTI since its inaugural Midwest tasting, specializing in wine. He believed in BTI and its panels that go the extra mile to get things right and that the unique blind tasting methodology creates an equal playing field for all submissions.

He was a mentor to scores of BTI panelists and staff and his contributions to our discovery understanding of the intricacies and wonders of wine was profound. Robert passed away in 2019 and is greatly missed by the the entire drinks industry. Donations to a culinary student scholarship in his name can be made through Kendall College.